If the state is going to pick up more pension costs for Chicago teachers, Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking for some concessions on collective bargaining in return.
How much the state would pay if it picks up the employer contribution for teachers' pensions in Chicago is unclear--Rauner estimates it at $200 million, while the new budget for Chicago Public Schools is banking on $480 million in relief.
Whatever the amount, Rauner is asking for certain items to be removed from collective bargaining statewide, like work rules, in exchange for taking on the pension contributions. He says Chicago has gotten what he calls "special treatment" on collective bargaining in the past.
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"We need that ability for all school districts," Rauner said. "It's a fundamental reform, it's good government reform. It's consistent with what other states have done, and Chicago has had the benefit of it in the past. We want to make sure all school districts around the state are treated fairly and in that same regard."
The state currently doesn't pay into Chicago teachers' pensions as it does for other school districts, with the funds for pensions in Chicago coming from local property taxes. Chicago residents do contribute to pension funds in the rest of Illinois through state income taxes.
Chicago school do get extra funding, through an additional block grant on top of its share of state education funding.